V is for VELELLA. It is the only thing beginning with V on Jessica’s Nature Blog. This beautiful blue sea creature, which is in fact a colony of organisms, has been turning up in ever more frequent numbers on beaches over the past decade. Its common name is by-the-wind-sailor, and is characterised by its own sail-like structure that catches the wind and propels it in great flotillas across the surface of the sea covering great distances.

22 Replies to “V is for Velella”

  1. Yes, they are incredible organisms and recent years gave seen thousands washed ashore all over the world. Not certain if that is an effect of warmer oceans and changing currents.


  2. The first time I saw them I wondered what on earth they were. They were not a common find then. But recently they have come ashore in vast numbers all over the world it seems. These pictures were all taken on Rhossili beach at different times.

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  3. They are very small, only a few centimetres long and easy to overlook, especially if it is only the transparent chitinous remains with the sail. Living or recently dead specimens are that bright blue that stands out on the sand and are easier to notice.

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  4. What beautiful creatures – I’ve never come across these before, but if ever I do I will now know what they are! I’ve seen Portuguese-Man-Of-War washed up on Cornwall’s beaches in recent years but not these – fascinating pictures Jessica.

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  5. I am sure you are right, blue rightly. I suspect that it may have something to do with increasingly warmer oceans and the subsequent extended range for the species.


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